Health and safety
Please note this advice is for CCBC employees only.
It is essential that staff follow official guidelines applicable to Wales on managing the health risks associated with the Covid-19 virus - this now varies from England, Scotland and Ireland. The most up to date position may be found from the Welsh Government website.
This guidance is intended for CCBC staff providing support for essential services to maintain a consistent approach across all service areas, whether temporarily working from home, in offices or in the community.
Hand sanitiser fire and serious eye irritation risk
There is a risk of fire and arson as an unfortunate consequence of storing alcohol-based hand sanitiser that has been provided to reduce the spread of Covid-19. A separate health and safety bulletin regarding this risk and required actions to minimise the associated risk.
In addition, alcohol-based hand sanitiser causes serious eye irritation if in direct contact with the eye. This could occur from a splash, but most likely from rubbing the eye area with a hand shortly after applying sanitiser liquid / gel.
Vulnerable persons should be supervised with applying hand sanitiser to ensure only a suitable quantity is applied, and it is rubbed into all areas of the hand until dry.
If sanitiser gets into the eye, the affected eye(s) should be rinsed with sterile or fresh water for several minutes. Contact lenses should be removed where possible if worn on the affected eye(s.) and medical attention should be sought if eye irritation persists after several minutes of flushing.
Cleaning products effective against COVID-19
All cleaning products used to clean work surfaces, door handles and shared items between uses by different groups of people should be virucidal and biocidal.
Anti-bacterial wipes and sprays are not effective at penetrating the cell structure of virus cells so are less effective against cleaning surfaces contaminated with covid-19 and other viruses.
The Health and Safety Division cannot supply or approve such products. However, to assist service managers with sourcing suitable products details of various cleaning products identified as being virucidal and biocidal the list below is based on cleaning products used by CCBC’s Building Cleaning and Social Services or sourced by Procurement.
Personal protective equipment
Guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE) for those not working within care homes, supported living or providing personal care can be found below.
National guidance regarding appropriate PPE for those providing personal care in a range of medical and non-medical settings may be found on the UK Government website.
Public Health Wales do not generally recommend the use of facemasks as an effective means of preventing the spread of Covid-19 infection, except in clinical or care settings where healthcare workers provide direct personal care. Staff working in personal care settings that are required to work within 2 metres of a resident/service user should wear a fluid repellent surgical mask. Eye protection may also be required depending on the risk. Masks should be worn for care sessions as opposed to shifts. This applies regardless of whether assisting someone with symptoms of Covid-19 infection or not.
Further guidance may be found in this Face Masks and Face Coverings guidance FAQ document.
It is essential that where masks are used that they are adjusted correctly to create a tight seal.
An NHS training video regarding the wearing of PPE in social care settings may be found below:
Home working creates some health and safety risks, although many of these are likely to be low both in terms of severity, likelihood and duration. The guidance sheet Temporary Working From Home: Guidance For Managers And Home Working Employees is intended to support both home working employees, and their line managers, in identifying and managing such risks to maintain them as posing minimal risk.
Further guidance regarding home working is also available from here, although primarily relates to those contracted to work from home long-term rather than temporarily as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Temporary use of display screen equipment at home
Although the risks associated with the temporary use of display screen equipment (e.g. computers/laptops) at home are low, use of a prolonged period can cause short term pain and discomfort, particularly to the back, shoulders and wrists. To reduce such risks, those using display screen equipment at home should watch the following short video from the Health and Safety Executive:- https://youtu.be/Af7q5j14muc
Coping with anxiety and concerns associated with the pandemic
Staff can access 'Care First's' resources for advice on coping with covid-19 related issues from their website www.carefirst-lifestyle.co.uk. Username: ccb001 Password: ncil1234
The links below include a range of mindfulness exercises. Many of them only require a few minutes.
Statutory maintenance and building/equipment maintenance.
Buildings and plant subject to statutory maintenance such as gas boilers and heating systems, lifts, electrical systems (including fire detection and alarm) and pressure systems etc should all continue to be maintained, even though premises are currently closed. This should be arranged to ensure compliance and prevent any avoidable delays when premises are permitted to reopen.
Any items beyond their due date for statutory examination should not be used and isolated until examined by a competent engineer and deemed safe for use.
Those responsible for individual CCBC premises are responsible for ensuring that where testing, maintenance and repair work is arranged, and that a designated member of staff is available to open the site and internal doors to enable such required work is conducted such work.
Contractors should be provided with a contact name and contact number for a premises to enable.
Legionella bacteria control
To control the risk of legionella bacteria within water systems it is essential that flushing of water systems is conducted at least weekly.
Checking the temperature of water should continue each month. However, where water heating systems have been turned off to save energy, water temperature checks should check the water is below 20oC for both hot and cold water systems. Hot water systems kept on should remain above 50oC throughout.
Where it has not been possible to provide the above, it is essential that Building Consultancy are immediately informed to ensure appropriate competent advice may be sought and the water system recommissioned prior to reopening to staff or general public to prevent a potential outbreak or potentially significantly costly alternative remedial works. Enquiries may be sent to Building Consultancy via e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information and general health and safety advice can be obtained from Health and Safety Officers of CCBC’s Health and Safety Division – Tel. 01443 86 4072, or e-mail:- email@example.com.
We will endeavour to respond to you as quickly as possible, but a delay may be inevitable during this challenging time and constantly developing situation.